Public Rights of Way
Public rights of way give you the right to walk along specific routes at any time. These can be roads, footpaths or tracks in rural or urban areas, sometimes over private land. Some rights of way can be used by horses, cyclists and vehicles. Further information
Public rights of way register
View Gwynedd’s online rights of way register
Report a problem
If you have encountered a problem whilst using a public right of way, for example, obstruction on the path, misleading signs or lack of maintenance, please contact us.
Information for landowners
Landowners can expect that visitors on their land will treat it with respect and care and follow the Countryside Code. There are expectations on the landowner as well:
Definitive Map and Statement
These are a legal record of public rights of way in Gwynedd. Copies are available to view at the Council Offices in Caernarfon and Dolgellau. It is strongly advised that an appointment is made to view these documents to ensure that a relevant officer is available to answer any queries that may arise. Contact us
Add a path to the Definitive Map that has been used for many years but not recorded
The first thing to do is to contact us
An application can then be made under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to have the path added to the Definitive Map. If there are no objections and the landowner agrees, things are comparatively simple. However, in most cases there are objections and the matter then becomes difficult and time consuming. If the problem can’t be resolved the matter will be referred to the Welsh Government. Further information and an application form can be found below:
Divert a Public Right of Way
Under the Highways Act 1980, the Council may divert a public right of way. The diversion must be in the interests of the owner, occupier, or lessee of the land, or in the interests of the public and the new route must not be substantially less convenient to the public. Above all, it must be expedient to have the diversion.
The Council also has a power under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to divert a public right of way when necessary to enable planning consent granted by it to be implemented.
Further information can be found in the leaflets below or by contacting us: contact us
Extinguish a public right of way
A right of way can be extinguished if it can be proved that it is not needed for use by the public and that it is expedient to close it. This is very difficult to prove and extinguishment orders are made very infrequently. If you are considering applying for an order the first step is to contact us
Protect land from having a Right of Way claimed over it
Regular use by the public of an informal path may result in it being recognised as an official Public Right of Way. To prevent this, you need to show that, at the relevant time, you did not intend that the path should become a Public Right of Way. Further information can be found in the guidance notes and templates, or please contact us
Local Access Forums
The Local Access Forum will have the primary purpose of giving advice to Gwynedd Council and Natural Resources Wales on how to make the countryside more accessible and enjoyable for open air recreation. The Forum is expected to further improve liaison between interest groups and to establish and maintain links to other area Forums.
Further information about the Local Access Forum
For further information about public rights of way in Gwynedd, please contact us:
- Arfon – 01286 679 536
Council Offices, Stryd y Jêl, Caernarfon, LL55 1SH.
- Dwyfor – 01758 704 091
Council Offices, Ffordd Y Cob, Pwllheli, LL53 5AA
- Meirionnydd - 01341 424 507
Council Offices, Cae Penarlâg, Dolgellau, LL40 2YB.
If you have comments about pavements or footways alongside a carriageway please call 01766 771000